London has a tempting array of delis and specialist food shops. Here's a selection of the best.
Treat yourself to some delicious gourmet snacks and ingredients at London's best delicatessens and specialist food shops. London foodies take their passion seriously so you'll find some of the world's finest ingredients here, alongside a huge range of cookbooks and every kitchen gadget imaginable!
Here's a selection of London's top edible delights and best cooking-aid and recipe-book shops to get your taste buds tingling.
Berry Bros & Rudd
A favourite with wine lovers since the 17th century, Berry Bros & Rudd retains its old-world charm today, while delivering a modern, informed attitude towards wine selling. Rare bottles from Burgundy, Bordeaux and beyond are available, with the oldest plonk dating back to 1933. If you're reluctant to shell out too much, don't fret – you can buy bottles off-licence style for around £10.
Books for Cooks
With more than 8,000 books on the shelves, Books for Cooks far exceeds the realm of simple recipe books. Find titles on foodie fiction, history, biographies, nutrition and art, plus gourmet cards and posters. Taste recipes straight from the pages at the cafe to the rear, or have a go yourself: Books for Cooks hosts regular cooking classes upstairs.
Borough MarketDiscover this gourmet's paradise in London. With a range of fresh produce including fruit, veg and all kinds of meat, as well as condiments, bakery treats and delicious street food Borough Market is great for lunch or grocery shopping. There's also a wide selection of specialist ingredients and indulgent treats.
Fortnum & Mason Food Hall
Most of London's top department stores have impressive food halls but Fortnum & Mason is the only one with a Royal appointment to stock The Queen's larder. At Fortnum's you'll find the finest caviar, cheeses, fresh fruit, veg, fish, poultry and meats, as well as a huge range of teas and, of course, marmalade!
Gill Wing Cook Shop
The Gill Wing Cook Shop in Islington stocks a wide range of kitchenware, cookery books and all the essential gifts and gadgets. Run by a former Harrods cook shop manager, the Gill Wing Cook Shop is one of the best stocked of any cookware shop in London. Pop in and ask to see the best in knives, glassware, linen and whiteware china.
Harrods Food Hall
Harrods is on many London tourists' must-do lists and no trip to the iconic department store is complete without stepping into Harrods Food Hall. Dazzlingly decorated and piled high with comestibles, Harrods Food Hall is a delight to browse or buy from. If you're lucky, you'll catch one of the regular food & drink demos, cookbook signings or, best of all, free samples!
Neal's Yard Dairy
For cheese lovers, Neal's Yard Dairy is a must-visit in London. This excellent emporium sources cheese from around 70 producers and farms across Britain and Ireland to sell in its two London shops at Covent Garden and Borough Market. With an impressive list of restaurants as customers, and more than 20 years' experience, you'll find some of Britain's best cheeses at Neal's Yard Dairy.
Paxton & Whitfield
Established in 1797, Paxton & Whitfield is London's oldest cheese shop. As well as housing the most jaw-dropping selection of cheeses (including the likes of Dales Crumbly and Soft Bloomy), this gorgeous shop also stocks wines, charcuterie, biscuits and cheese accessories.
The Spice Shop
The Spice Shop sells more than 2,500 spices from around the world as well as mustards, oils and bespoke spice mixes. Founded in 1990 by Birgit Erath, the store is now run by her son Philip. Many chefs and famous TV cooks frequent this Portobello Road institution for inspiration and recipe ideas. We suggest you do the same!
Twinings Tea Shop & MuseumTea afficionados should head to the historic Twinings shop on The Strand for a selection of top-quality blends. Still housed in the original premises established by Thomas Twining in 1706, it's the perfect destination for a quintessentially English shopping experience. Discover the history of tea while you sample some of Twinings' finest blends.
Villandry sells the finest quality ingredients sourced from specialist suppliers. It stocks everything from olive oils, wines, cheese and meat from across Europe to fresh fruit, herbs and vegetables from Covent Garden's Food Market. There's also a restaurant, bar and bakery on the premises – guaranteed to satisfy all cravings!